(TargetLiberty.org) – Recent shootings amid months of political and racial unrest, accompanied by the usual spate of shootings in crime-ridden cities like Chicago, have drawn the nation’s attention to the gun violence epidemic plaguing America every year. No doubt, a solution to this crisis is long overdue. However, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan to combat gun violence appears riddled with misrepresentations of fact and law.
The Biden campaign prefaced his plan by overplaying his role in the passage of the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the 1994 ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. For starters, Democrats controlled the Senate both years by a 57 to 43 margin and the House with an overwhelming majority of 258 Democrats to 176 Republicans and 1 Independent.
Additionally, the role of former president Ronald Reagan in the passage of both bills is a matter of public record. The Brady Bill’s namesake was Reagan’s former press secretary James Brady who was shot by John Hinkley, Jr. during a botched attempt on Reagan’s life on March 30, 1981.
Reagan published an emotional 800+ word op-ed in The New York Times pushing for the passage of the Brady Bill on March 29, 1991. Three years later, on May 3, 1994, Reagan and former Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to pass the controversial assault weapons ban. Arguably, neither bill would have passed were it not for Reagan’s support.
The Biden Plan
Giving credit where it’s due, the Biden plan has some useful features. However, it’s rife with inconsistencies, distortions, and misperceptions. Taken individually, these problems may appear small but considered collectively, raise severe doubts about the integrity of the Biden plan as a whole.
A couple of examples of distortions include:
- The false claim that gun manufacturers are granted immunity from civil liability for their products under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Although the act does provide protections no other industry enjoys, it does include notable exceptions. For example, gunmakers are liable for defects in the design and manufacture of their products.
- The misleading claim the NRA is “bullying firearms dealers” not to manufacture smart guns, an emerging technology preventing unauthorized persons from firing a weapon. In fact, the NRA supports the manufacture of smart guns. It’s opposed to laws making the technology mandatory on all weapons due to cost considerations, and the fact guns could be remotely disabled.
Additionally, Biden’s support of “red flag” laws could be misplaced. Serious questions exist regarding their constitutionality, although the courts have not fully weighed in on the matter so far.
America currently averages more than 100 gun-related deaths every day, leaving little doubt for the need for expanded legislation to quell this mounting epidemic. However, meaningful gun reform legislation must be predicated by a sincere recitation of the facts and not sleight of hand misrepresentations.
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